Some of the Worst pet food ingredients (and their health challenges to dogs and/or cats) 


  • All Meat By-products
    Can Include Tumors and Diseased Tissues, Rancid Trim Pieces and Innards of Various Animals.
  • Animal Digest (1 Stars) Found in 13% of Pet Food Products Analyzed
    Rendered, by Chemical And/or Enzymatic Process, Non-descriptive Animal Tissues Used for Flavor. Beef Tallow (preserved with Bha) One of the Worse Kinds of Fat, Chemically Preserved with Potential Carcinogen. Often Produces Allergies. Tallow, Includes Old Restaurant Grease, is Very Hard to Digest, Leads to Diarrhea, Premature Aging.
  • Beef Tallow Preserved with Mixed-tocopherols
    (source of Vitamin E. Can Be Used Restaurant Fat! Misleading with “natural” Vitamin E Preservative Added. Indicates Very Poor Quality Product.
  • BHA (a Preservative)
    Chemical. Highly Carcinogenic Preservative.
  • Blue 2 and Other Colors
  • Brewers Dried Yeast
    Waste Product (used for Flavoring, Protein, B-vitamins) Which Can Become Very Toxic to the Liver Causes Allergies and Arthritis.
  • Corn Syrup
    A “sugar” That Causes Diabetes, Weight Gain, Hyperactivity, Fearful Behavior, Ill Health.
  • Corn/corn Gluten Meal/corn Gluten/grits
    Feed-grade Can Include Moldy Grain or Fungus Which Has Cause Death. Highly Allergenic. Adds Sugar. Poor Incomplete Protein Source. Interferes with Digestion. Can Cause Sugar Imbalance.
  • Dried Animal Digest
    Flavor Enhancer. is Non-descriptive, Digest is Rendered Animal Tissue, Including Rancid or Diseased Parts, Road Kill, Euthanized Pets
  • Dried Beet Pulp
    Pure Sugar Filler — Leads to Weight Gain, Hyperactivity and Feeds Arthritis.
  • Dried Brewers Yeast
    Can Become Toxic to Liver, Waste Product of Beer and Ale Industry.
  • Dried Cellulose/powdered Cellulose/peanut Hulls
    Very Harsh on Digestive Tract, Suspected to Include Cardboard or Peanut Hulls.
  • Egg Product
    Cheap Source of Protein, Waste Product of Egg Industry, Free of Shell.
  • Ethoxyquin (a Preservative)
    The Most Carcinogenic Preservative, Most in Industry Have Stopped Using It Except Very Cheap, Poor Quality Foods.
  • Fish
    Non-descriptive, Probably Rancid and of Poor Quality. Can Have High Levels of Mercury.
  • Fish Oil
    Non-descriptive Type of Fish Can Include Rancid Source of “throw Away” Catches.
  • Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)
    Non-descriptive, Cheap “fish” Source, Often Rancid Prior to Preserving with Vitamin E (gimmicky to Cover Poor Quality Oil).
  • Fresh Chicken By-products (organ Meat Only)
    Indicates Poor Quality Hidden Behind “organ Meat Only” and “fresh” Still By-products Which Can Include Diseased Organ Tissue.
  • Liver
    Non-descriptive Source Can Include Any Mammal Tissue, Too Much Liver Can Become Toxic to the Body when Used in Dry Foods, Used As Flavor, Minimal Source of Iron.
  • Lysine
    Indicates Heavy Soy-based Food Which Dogs Can Die from Unless They Have Lysine to Help Digest It, Best to Avoid This Diet Unless Soy is Missing.
  • Meat/liver and Bone Meal (natural Source of Calcium)
    Non-descriptive Indicates 4-d Meat, Cheapest Source, Can Include Diseased Tissues Plus Bone Meal Can Not Be Digested and Assimilated As Calcium!
  • Modified Starch/food Starch
    Cheap Source of Carbohydrates, Filler, Causes Digestive Upset. Non-descript Source Can Be from Any Grain, Causes Allergies, Weight Gain and Poor Digestion, Filler.
  • Onion Powder/extract
    Can Be Deadly to Dogs, Non-nutritive.
  • Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
    Cases Digestive Upset, Premature Aging.
  • Pasta (wheat Flour) Cheap, Gimmicky Filler That Can Cause Allergies, Feeds Arthritis.
  • Phosphoric Acid A Sequestering Agent for Rendered Animal Fats  
    Implies Poor Quality Fats Are Used, Source of Phosphorous.
  • Poultry Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols/bha) 
    Non-descriptive, Can Be Any Foul, Often Rancid Prior to Preserving with Vitamin E (gimmicky, to Cover Poor Quality Fat Used).
  • Poultry Liver
    Cheap Source of Liver Flavoring, Non-descriptive, Often Includes Diseased Tissues. Can Become Toxic to Body.
  • Poultry/meat
    Can Include Any Foul/any Meat Source Including Road Kill, Euthanized Pets. Non-descriptive, Often Includes Diseased Meat, Non-human Grade.
  • Rice/rice Hulls/gluten/flour/bran
    Cheap Filler – Indicates Poor Quality, Can Be Harsh on Intestines/causes Bowel Distress. Can Encourage Diabetes, a Poor Protein Source/filler.
  • Salt/sodium Chloride
    Used to Cover Up Rancid Meat and Fat, Can Cause Kidney and Heart Disease, Hypertension — Used to Encourage Cats to Drink
  • Sodium Nitrite (for Color Retention)
    Potentially Highly Carcinogenic.
  • Sodium Tripolyphosphate
    Used As Rancid Meat Preservative.
  • Soy (hulls/flour/mill Run)
    Can Cause Bowel Irritation, Cheap Filler. Cheap Source of Grain Protein, Filler, Can Cause Bloat/death in Dogs. Mill Run is Sweepings off Floor.
  • Starch
    Cheapest Form of Carbohydrates Causes Weight Gain and Poor Digestion, Filler.
  • Sugar/molasses/maple Sugar/dextrose/sucrose
    Sugar?!! Leads to Diabetes, Hyperactivity and Obesity. Can Feed Arthritis.
  • Thiamine Hydrochloride (1 Stars) Found in 4% of Pet Food Products Analyzed
    Cheapest, Poorly Assimilated Source of Thiamine, Vitamin B-1, Needed for Nervous System and Mental Attitude.
  • Vegetable Oil
    Non-descriptive Source of Fat, Contains Saturated Fat Which is Hard on the Body, Causes Premature Aging.
  • Wheat/wheat Starch/wheat Flour/wheat Gluten/wheat Mill Run
    Poor Carbohydrate Source Causes Allergies. Poor Protein Source (incomplete). Used As Cheap Filler. Can Cause Bowel Problems. Lead to Premature Aging. Mill Run is Sweepings off Floor.
  • Yellow 5
    Artificial Color, a Salicylate Which Can Be Become Deadly to Cats with Extended Use.